Saturday, June 11, 2016

Responses to Margaret Walker, Maya Angelou & Lucille Clifton

Margaret Walker. source
More responses to poetry.

Re: "For My People" by Margaret Walker

Margaret Walker’s “For My People” speaks to the African American experience, evident throughout the poem as Walker repeats the phrase “my people”. In the last stanza, Walker says “let second generation full of courage issue forth; let a people loving freedom come to growth” and the rest of the stanza calls for a new world where there is peace and healing. This sentiment seems to hold black people responsible for uplifting oppression when they themselves are oppressed.

Zari Taylor


Re: "For My People"

To Margaret Walker,

Your work "For My People" called for a “new generation” in 1937. I wonder if our "new generation" is a generation that you imagined, and if not, is that a bad thing? I can assure you that "your people" are still struggling to rise & take control.

Nia Brookins
Fort Worth, TX, June 10, 2016


Re: "Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou

“But still, like air, I’ll rise”. Haters, understand the message. That which is meant to ascend, will ascend.

Christian Taylor


"won't you celebrate with me"

Clifton's “come celebrate with me”, explores the appreciation of life and living. She invites the audience (“won’t you”) encouraging the reader to join in the joy of living. “[M]y one hand holding tight my other hand” alludes to the power of healing and to the potential power of prayer. I think of the strength she must have found and how she must have felt, as a mother, daughter, wife, to overcome the tragedies of her life and still urge others and herself to celebrate life, to “celebrate with [her] that everyday something has tried to kill [her] and has failed.”

Lucille Clifton, thank you.

Miela Fetaw
San Antonio, TX, June 10, 2016

AALCI 2016

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